The Prologue sets the scene, gives you a taste of what to expect and leaves you thirsting for more.
The story is that of a dystopian world, rebuilding itself after a nuclear disaster. And one of the main characters seems to be rebuilding from a past he cannot remember.
We first meet Jackson, a business man (AKA professional smuggler) who is tormented by nightmares, shadows, insecurities about his abilities, and his past. In need of an influx in cash, Jackson, despite his better judgement, makes a deal with the Coalition—a new branch of the government—and ends up quickly regretting his decision.
When Jackson meets Anna, she is inside a box in the middle of the desert… Oh, and she’s emitting radiation. She’s a scientific anomaly, a perfect specimen for the Coalition’s experiments. But though she has awoken in a different century than she fell asleep in, she is not alone.
Jackson seeks to help Anna, and turns to someone he believes he can trust in the Order of Mages. But when the Order turns on him, and another, unknown, threat bursts into the fray, Jackson and Anna find themselves in the crosshairs of a lot of trouble, seemingly leading to their deaths.
The story is filled with the unexpected, but Ashcroft is able to bring it all down to Earth and make the unbelievable, believable. This book has everything, from magic, to fantasy, to a dystopian world set in the future, and so much more.
There is a lot of I love about this book, but one aspect I love the most is that it is not a traditional romance. This book easily could have become romance-centered. I mean, two good looking people forced into hiding with each other? Romance would seem only natural to most, but I’m really glad that the book didn’t come to revolve around it.
Ashcroft mastered the perfect balance between chemistry and plot, and I can’t wait to see what happens to these two characters further on in the series.
And can I just say, this would make a really awesome movie (done right)!